The Country Gentlemen Tribute Band has announced their new fifth member, following the retirement of original reso-guitarist Mark Clifton at the end of last year. Formed some years ago by famed Country Gentlemen bassist Bill Yates, the Tribute Band continues to perform the music introduced to the bluegrass world by the Gents over the years.
Coming onboard is Geoff Gay from Hatboro, PA. He has been playing the dobro since he was a young man, taking the occasion of being stationed in Alaska with the Air Force to begin a self study of the instrument, focusing on the contributions of Mike Auldridge and Jerry Douglas. Throughout 25 years with the Air Force, Geoff has performed with regional groups wherever he was stationed. Now retired from the military, and working for the Department of the Navy, he is looking forward to working with the Tribute Band and reliving the music of the Gentlemen.
He joins Mike Phipps on guitar, whose voice bears a striking similarity to the great Charlie Waller, plus Dave Propst on mandolin, Rick Briggs on banjo, and Mike Conner on bass. Everyone in the group helps Phipps with the singing, producing a fine representation of why the Country Gentlemen were among the most popular touring acts in the history of bluegrass.
Here’s a video of them doing Matterhorn, a hit for the Gents in the ’70s, back when Mark was still with the band.
Their 2018 schedule begins in earnest next month, so fans can welcome Geoff to the group at shows along the east coast. See show dates online.